buzzoole code

Regular readers may have noticed my mild (ok, major) stress out the other week, caused mainly by a continued lack of sleep. And as a quick aside, if you’re not a regular reader, there’s all sorts of twitter / facebook / email loveliness to your right there, why not cheer my day up?! Anyway… so it was with great excitement that I had last weekend booked in as overnight babysitting for Jacob  at the in-laws so John and I could go to the Leigh Folk Festival. There would be drinking! Dancing! Merriment! And most importantly – sleep! Hallelujah!!

The Leigh Folk Festival is the biggest free folk festival in Europe and it is brilliant, loads of bands, all stages near a bar, next to the estuary so you have a nice view of the fishing boats. Sometimes there is even half decent weather too. So this is an event that deserved something nice to wear to it, and so in my silversmithing class I made these silver folk heart earrings.

I wanted to make something that looked organic and folky, like it had been made by a real person not by a machine on the other side of the world.

I’m pretty pleased with them too! The design may (ahem) not be quite as I planned, the lesson learnt here being that if you are using a hammer to hit something perhaps you ought to look at what you’re doing? But I kind of like them more for that, nothing I’ve bought in Top Shop ever had the unique ‘oops!’ bit that these do!

As it turned out, our night out was not to be. Johns parents called with the news that they’d been to visit his uncle and, not realising he had infantigo, had kissed him goodbye. Its horribly contagious. We couldn’t take the risk of leaving Jacob with them if there was any chance he’d catch it and so, my first chance of a sleep in for a couple of months was cancelled. It happens. And to his credit, Jacob was a total star and slept in until 6.40 (good boy!!).

So these are my silver folk heart earrings and that is the story of the night out that wasn’t. One of many things we do in the name of our kids. I still have the earrings though and they look pretty cool, I’m a happy lady.

So, a couple of weeks ago a man contacted me and asked if I would like to do a product review on some clothes and I thought….hmm…. because the day he happened to contact me was super-dooper-spam-on-twitter day and anyone who contacted me that I hadn’t known since birth was treated with the level of suspicion that I normally reserve for Russian ex-military types with a teapot full of Polonium.
Which is strange, because in ye olden days I used to write a fanzine (yes, really that long ago, it was on ceefax and everything) and I used to get stuff to review all the time and never thought twice about it. Funny how one gets more suspicious in old age.
Anyway. Having worried for at least 15 minutes that this was a state sponsored attempt by The Man to Shut Me Down I then realised that a) this was unlikely and I should stop drinking so much caffeine and b) I could actually do with some new clothes for Jacob so I said yes and lo and behold a week later some goodies from Vertbaudet arrived in the post.
I did think that as a ‘proper’ product tester I should just let him wear their gear. However the Husband reliably informed me that if I dressed him all in pale colours he would look like Martin Bell.
Nice trousers Jacob!
Oh! And a nice top too! Apologies for the baby reins here, which rather spoil my modelling on the beach session, but he’d just walked down the steps onto the beach from the main road behind where, like a proper Essex Boy, he’d been trying to chase after 4×4’s and sports cars.
So yes, nice things, cheers! In terms of sensible testing, they do both require a bit of ironing which isn’t generally my biggest forte, so I do my best to leave that to John. One strange thing though is that the children’s clothes in Vertbaudet are 0-36 months or 2-14? And as Jacob is 18 months he looks a bit weird in baby clothes now so I struggled a bit to find something that looked like the ‘right’ age for him, I just can’t see him rocking much in the way of pastels these days, although maybe that’s just me.
If anyone else would like me to product test huge diamonds, 4×4’s filled to the brim with petrol or holidays in the Caribbean with baby sitting thrown in, I’m your girl. Just don’t send me the dodgy teapot, ok?

And relaaaaxxxxx…… regular readers will notice that I have turned into an utter stress monkey of late. And that being a stress monkey is no fun what-so-ruddy-ever and probably something that I should avoid. So, welcome to my lovely ‘bah, just put your feet up’ competition!

I have been sent two copies of A Perfectly Good Man by by Patrick Gale via the lovely people at Mumsnet Book Club. As I am only intending on reading one copy the other copy is now up for grabs. I haven’t read it yet, but I have read Notes From an Exhibition which he wrote and it was fab! Also added by my own good self are two proper sized bars of Green and Blacks chocolate, one dark, one milk, both struggling to not be eaten!

To enter just leave a comment below saying what you do to relax and de-stress. A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday 26th June, so no extra points for writting ‘I drink a vat of wine while the kids are eating their coco pops’. No extra points either  if you RT / promote on twitter /  facebook, but I will send you a big sloppy cyber snog if that floats your boat. I will then email the winner for their address and the book and chocolate will be winging its way to you!



As much as I love sewing, I have the attention span of a small child. I generally put this down to bing dyslexic, but if I’m honest a large part of it is just wanting to get something done. I work, I have a small child, dinner to cook, flat to clean, washing up to do, husband to hold polite conversations with. I long to do a huge patchwork throw for our bed, but in all honesty I don’t know where I’d find that time. Or the patience.

So, a pin cushion it is. A pin cushion that can be made between putting the child to bed and putting the dinner on which to me is the perfect length for a craft project.

Designed myself too! Not that its a biggie, but I know how some other people copy things off pinterest and I have gone utterly old school and ghetto here and copied the design from something I’d seen in Real Life and not on a computer screen. No good will come of this, obviously.

So, to make this, all you need is to draw and cut out two big circles on some nice material, preferably something that contrasts nicely, then use a sewing machine to go round the outside leaving a big gap to turn it inside out. Turn inside out, stuff with loads of toy filler and then sew the hole closed.

To make it look a bit funkier I added buttons on the top and the underside, this also meant that by sewing between the two of them I could make the cushion into more of a defined pin cushion shape as opposed to just a little cushiony lump. This was an utter faff. I mean it, large scale faffyness was involved here and some low level swearing too (large level swearing generally being reserved for baking). Obviously, the one I’d looked at had been done by a big machine, probably somewhere in China where as my poor clutzy hands in less exotic Essex were not so well designed for this task. Still, it does make it look a bit funkier, and I had it all finished in time for tea. After my last blog about drunken rock and roll antics, I can feel now like I’m back on the road to domestic goddessness, all be it with the normal vats of wine thrown in on route.